Two sheep take shelter under stormy skies on the hillside above Fintry in Central Scotland.
This morning I woke up at 4am for some reason but what a beautiful day to get up - sunny and supposedly nearing 80. For western Washington, this is about as extreme as the hurricane that just hit Texas. I really feel for those folks down south and my prayers are with them. Being without power and water is no fun, much less being without a home, etc.
Yesterday in Sunday school we learned about a similar storm and I wanted to share the wonderful lesson. Bear with me as I'm no Beth Moore! Our pastor's wife taught and it was absolutely annointed! Cindy, if you're reading this, I know it won't go to your head (smile) and you can consider this a thank you note! Anyway, the text is Mark 6:45-46:
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He himself was sending the crowd away. After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray.
When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the water...
In this snapshot of Jesus's life, He has just fed the 5,000 with the loaves and fishes. I think the disciples must have been tired as they had been with this hungry crowd all day. Notice Jesus "made" them get into the boat after this miracle. Being made to do something is no fun if you don't want to do it. I can just imagine Peter, strong-willed as he was, looking right at Jesus and whining, "But I don't want to." Maybe the disciples didn't like being separated from Jesus (would you?) even if it was just a quick trip across the lake. But into the boat they went. Jesus remained on shore and said goodbye to the big group He'd just miraculously fed. Then He went up on the mountain to pray. Even God's son needed time alone. Perhaps He needed a break from the disciples. They were a high-maintenance bunch, I think!
While Jesus was praying He was also multi-tasking. He was keeping an eye on the disciples and they were having trouble. Now, many of these men were experienced seamen. But the wind had kicked up and they were straining at the oars and couldn't get to shore. But He kept His eye on them. He let them row until the fourth watch - 3am to 6am. He let them get really tired before He intervened. In the words of Beth Moore, this was "a great time for control freaks to exercise surrender." And then Jesus walked to them on the water, got into their boat, and the wind stopped.
It's such a comfort to me to know that in our storms, He's keeping His eye on us. He's always there, always watching , always ready to intervene. But He intervenes on His timetable, not ours. We just have to keep rowing and watching for Him. And we can call on Him to get into the boat with us. He wants us to do that. The Christian life is all about a relationship with Him.
Hope you have smooth sailing this week. But if not, we know the One who goes with us.